WASHINGTON (CN) - The Senate on Tuesday confirmed seven of President Donald Trump's nominees to federal district courts across the country, most by unanimous voice votes.
The one nominee who received some opposition on Tuesday was U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Goodwin, whom a majority of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary rated not qualified due to concerns about his work ethic.
While a minority of the committee rated Goodwin qualified, a majority found he was not qualified, citing his "frequent absence from the courthouse until mid-afternoon."
Goodwin, who will now take a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, explained he had a habit of working from his home office when he had opinions to write and no hearings scheduled because he found it "extremely beneficial" to "focus in solitude on writing."
He said whenever he was working from his home office he had access to email, two different phones and his office schedule and that he noticed "no practical difference in accessibility" between his home office and his chambers.
Goodwin said he never heard anyone complain about his practice of working from home, but noted he stopped doing so in August 2017 after an ABA investigator asked him about his habits.
"Although I respect the right of the ABA Standing Committee to express its opinion, I was disappointed in the ABA's process and did not find it to be thorough or fair," Goodwin told Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., in response to questions submitted in writing after his confirmation hearing.
Goodwin has served as a magistrate judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma since 2013, having previously worked at the Oklahoma City firm Crowe & Dunlevy. Goodwin cleared the Senate in a 52-42 vote.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Terry Moorer will become the first African American judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama after earning confirmation in a unanimous voice vote in the Senate on Tuesday afternoon. Moorer is also the first black judicial nominee confirmed during the Trump administration.
Moorer worked as a federal prosecutor in Alabama from 1990 to 2007, during which time he also worked as a military judge and judge advocate in the Alabama National Guard. Moorer also served from 1981 to 1986 in the Alabama National Guard.
Moorer took a seat as a magistrate judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama in 2007 and has served on the court ever since. He told Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in response to written questions submitted after his nomination hearing that he believes his experience as a magistrate judge will serve him well in his new position.
"I can say my experience as a magistrate judge has reinforced for me the importance of remembering that at the bottom of all files and cases are people and their stories," Moorer wrote. "In other words, judges and lawyers provide their greatest service to our society when they remember the humanity of the litigants - even opposing or difficult litigants."
U.S. Magistrate Judge Stan Baker received similarly strong support in the Senate, earning confirmation to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia in a unanimous voice vote.